Get on the road with these vehicle safety tips – CPS Energy Newsroom | Gmx Pharm

Summer is here – and don’t we know it with this triple digit weather – and that means it’s time to stay or travel to destinations far and wide. According to Travelpulse.com, around 80 percent of people going on vacation this summer are planning road trips. But before you set off, safety should always be a top priority. Ensuring your vehicle is serviced before you take off can make a world of difference to having a peaceful ride with your passengers, but most importantly to keeping you and your family safe.

Jaime Garcia, Interim Senior Manager of Fleet Operations at CPS Energy, is no stranger to vehicle maintenance. He has been in the fleet department for 22 years. With the record-breaking heat we’re seeing, he offers a basic but sometimes forgotten tip on how to cool your vehicle faster.

“When you get in your car after it’s been sitting for a while, all that heat gets trapped inside your vehicle,” says Jaime. “If you roll down your windows for a few minutes while you let the heat out, your air conditioning won’t have to work as hard and your car’s interior will cool down faster.”

Running the air conditioner hard also reduces your fuel efficiency. And nowadays every drop of petrol counts. Gas prices have skyrocketed, especially after the turmoil in Ukraine. Drivers are looking for a way to save at the pump and Jaime has some great tips for maximizing fuel economy, with things to do before setting out on a trip.

Fuel saving (and safety) tip #1: Maintain tire pressure.

“Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under-inflated tires burn more fuel than properly inflated tires, and it’s unsafe to drive a vehicle like this for too long, especially in this heat, because the tires could wear out and burst,” says Jaime. “Always check the level in your tires.”

One way to check this pressure is to purchase a pressure gauge. You can find pressure gauges at your local Wal-Mart or car dealership. You can also visit places like Discount Tire that provide filling stations where you can check the pressure. Some places will even check your tires for free. So how do you know what your pressure should be? “Always check your car’s door jamb. There you will find out how high the correct pressure of your tires should be. Always drive what your manufacturer recommends for your vehicle,” says Jaime.

Fuel saving tip #2: Be careful where you fill up.

Refueling is so painful for everyone these days Where If you decide to refuel, you can save money. Petrol stations directly on main roads are usually much more expensive due to their convenient location. Monitoring your gas and planning ahead to avoid these convenient spots can help you save at the pump.

Fuel saving tip #3: Don’t idle.

Avoid idling your car as idling uses more gas. “Idling the engine is even worse for the engine,” says Jaime. “When you drive on the road, your engine produces carbon. As long as you’re driving, that carbon will blow out of your exhaust system. However, when you’re idling, carbon and soot build up in your engine, and that’s not good for your engine.” While your car is designed for short periods of idling, like at traffic lights, it’s not a place for you to cool down or sit in it for long periods of time be able. Being aware of how much time you spend idling can save you money and it’s good for the environment.

Before hitting the road, it is important that your vehicle is properly maintained. A few things to look out for are making sure you are not overdue for an oil change and checking that your car’s fluids are stocked. Check belts and hoses for cracks and note how old your tires are. The older they are, the faster they heat up, which can cause them to burst.

A few other things to look out for are making sure your seat belts are intact and all of your lights are working. Check that the wiper blades are not old. Just because there has been minimal rain in Texas doesn’t mean the destination you’re headed to doesn’t have rain. Make sure you have working ones to be prepared. Finally, make sure your brakes are in good condition. “If you feel the pedal is lower than normal, or if you hear a squeaky noise when you apply the brake, that’s a sign it should be replaced,” says Jaime.

You’ve heard the phrase “better safe than sorry,” and before you head out on a road trip or daily drive, having a basic safety package that can live in your car can prove extremely beneficial. In true father form, Jaime recently put together one for his daughter who is about to enter college. Some things he recommends keeping in your car in case of an emergency are:

  • Set of jumper cables
  • flashlight
  • Danger triangles in road traffic
  • water
  • First aid kit
  • tire gauge
  • A card (in case your phone dies)
  • A jack
  • basic tool

A little preparation goes a long way when you hit the road. Plan your route, be aware of the many highway construction projects underway across our country, and have the number of Triple A or other roadside assistance service ready. “Plan your route before you take off that way in case something happens to you, you’re better prepared,” says Jaime. “Knowledge is the best tool you can have when going on a road trip.”


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